|From left to right: Kanekalon wig hair, DollyHair curly saran, and RestoreDoll nylon|
If a service isn't listed, or you have any warnings/advice/good experiences, please tell me about it.
|One of my old Halloween wigs (kanekelon fiber)|
Recycling old wigs is the most sustainable option for doll hair. Thrift stores stock them during Halloween and other costume festivals. These wigs are only worn once or twice and donated immediately after, making them cleaner than the hats you find in retail shops. Your friends and family may also have old wigs they want to give away, so ask around for free doll hair!
Upside: Sustainable and inexpensive. One wig is enough to reroot an entire Bratz or Barbie doll.
Downside: Small selection, hair may be bad quality. Kanekelon hair used for costume wigs is usually low quality, while fibers used for realistic hairpieces are higher quality. Tokyokalon and saran hairpieces are best. Avoid wigs that feel dry to the touch, and check the ends of the hair for tangles, texture, and frizz. Avoid clown wigs/costume afro wigs, as they are cheaply made and impossible to style.
|A regular RestoreDoll Nylon Hank|
Restore Doll is an American small business based in Texas, and operated by the Gray Agency (Kathy Gray and her family.) They sell synthetic hair and doll repair kits, and also distribute the Katsilk product line (note there is no silk in Katsilk hair or flock, just nylon). Their site features a helpful flocking tutorial and general doll restoration tips, as well as a gallery of customers’ completed projects. This site is especially geared towards Barbie and Blythe collectors.
My experiences with RestoreDoll are positive.
Upside: Fast shipping (under a week), good quality hair
Downside: Medium selection (they do not stock curly or color-changing thermal hair.) They do not stock black nylon hair (their darkest shade is eggplant, but they stock black saran hair.)
Pricing: $1.57 per nylon hank, $4.16 per saran hank. Bulk deals are available as “XL Format” and “Large Format.” Two hanks are enough for a Barbie, three for a Bratz doll.
|A bag of DollyHair's curly saran hair|
Dollyhair is an American small business based in California, and operated by Tina Amantula. The site sells synthetic doll hair, doll wigs, mohair wool, and an excellent metal rerooting tool. They feature helpful tutorials on rerooting, and a gallery of customers’ completed work (with links to their websites.) This site is especially geared towards Barbie, Gene and My Little Pony.
In 2007, InternationalWig.com targeted Dollyhair in a smear campaign by posting three negative reviews on RipoffReport.com. Following legal action, the author revoked the reviews and admitted they were fabrications.
My experiences with Dollyhair are positive.
Upside: Huge selection of hair, including curly and color-changing “thermal” varieties. They also let you order customized blends of hair. Really generous hanks (DollyHair includes extra hair to make up for slow shipping.)
Downside: Slow shipping. Prepare to wait anywhere from two weeks to one month (larger orders ship faster than smaller ones.) Also, mohair wool comes from abused sheep. Don’t be mislead by “humane” marketing claims... please stick to using synthetic hair!
Pricing: Varies. On average, nylon hanks cost $10 and saran hanks cost $8.40 (note that DollyHair also features a special “RD Hank” of saran hair for only $2.50.) Curly colors come uncut in one-ounce bags. On average, nylon curls cost $7.50 and saran curls cost $12.68 (different colors have different prices.) Dollyhair also offers bulk deals.
One hank/bag is more than enough for a Barbie doll, Bratz dolls need two (but there will be a lot left over.)
|My Little Customs' thermal pink-to-white hair. |
Photograph by Robin Bray.
My Little Customs is a British small business operated by Robin Bray. They sell synthetic doll hair, rooting needles, and doll repair/restoration parts. My Little Customs also features useful video tutorials on rerooting, and have a Flickr group where users can post pictures of their completed dolls. This site is especially geared towards Blythe and Sindy dolls.
I have never purchased doll hair from them, but they are your safest bet for buying doll hair outside the United States. Robin is extremely nice.
Upside: Huge selection of hair, including color-changing “thermal” varieties. They also let you order customized blends.
Downside: Ships from Britain (this takes more fuel if you live in the Americas.)
Pricing: Varies. On average, nylon hanks cost $4.20 and saran hanks cost $4.20. Thermal saran hanks cost $4.20. Bulk deals are available as “XL Format.”